Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Mark Steyn hits a homer

Don't miss Mark Steyn's excellent column today in the Chicago Sun-Times wherein he details the faint praise with which Kerry is damned by the lukewarm endorsements that have been forthcoming for him from the usual suspects. His conclusion:

"... serious Democrats need to confront the intellectual emptiness of their party, which Kerry's campaign embodies all too well. The Dems got a full tank from FDR, a top-up in the Civil Rights era, and they've been running on fumes for 30 years. Their last star, Bill Clinton, has no legacy because, deft as he was, his Democratic Party had no purpose other than as a vehicle for promoting his own indispensability. When he left, the Democrats became a party running on personality with no personalities to run..."

Cranky Cronkite

By Aussiegirl

Uncle Cranky Cronkite has struck again -- "And that's the way it is." he stated, in the memorable phrase we all remember from our childhood's, when Uncle Cranky would sagely remove his glasses as he prepared to gaze into that screen and tell us something really profound -- and really true. The most trusted man in America. That traitor. Who declared the Vietnam war lost, when it was no such thing.

Oh, doesn't that take us back to those innocent days of yore. When we sat back quietly like good little boys and girls and swallowed our pablum like we were supposed to. And Uncle Cranky patted us on the head and told us we could trust everything he said -- because -- "That was the way it was."

Well, Uncle Cranky has come out of retirement, where he spends his days quietly tying flies and plotting the constitution of the new world order he sees as the last best hope of liberals everywhere.

Yes, boys and girls, Uncle Cranky believes that that evil sorcerer, Karl Rove, possesses such power that he has produced, out of a puff of smoke, and just in time for Halloween -- the ultimate boogie man himself -- Osama Bin Laden.

Uncle Cranky and Kerry have had a big scare. And even though they don't believe in the supernatural, they can come up with no other rational explanation for the sudden appearance of Osama than that Karl Rove has had him under a spell and has been carrying him around in his back pocket for all these years, only to release him from his bondage in time for the October surprise.

And they say that liberals have no faith!!!

Saturday, October 30, 2004

veritas on the candidates and World War IV

OK -- the overarching issue in this election is World War IV, the war against Islamic terrorists. Against what The Federalist Patriot calls, quite properly, Jihadistan. I describe Jihadistan as a nation without a state.

Some say it's hard to say whether President Bush or Senator Kerry would protect us better. I disagree, but I also know that's not the best way, the clearest way, to frame the issue.

The better way to frame the primary question of the first half of this century is to ask this: who is more likely to go after the terrorists -- with ferocity? With finality as his goal? As his primary task in office?

Because, with the destructive possibilities of normally-benign technologies (remember 9/11?), and with the weapons that terrorists seek to acquire from like-minded rogue states, terrorists have access to the means to slaughter by the thousands -- tens of thousands, or more. They also have utter determination to do so. That combination of reality and wish carries more danger than we can risk. But the Left refuses to so acknowledge.

Does re-electing Bush mean no more terrorist attacks? No.

But it does mean a lot fewer terrorists than a Kerry administration would mean.

Three voices and a conclusion

"[I]n November... the voters will signal whether they want to defeat the terrorist enemy or attempt to coexist with them. It is a transaction with no return, no exchange."
~~ wretchard, on Belmont Club.com

"The Bush Administration gets both the indivisibility and the gravity of [the terrorist] threat to Western civilization and international prosperity. The elites of Europe and their American useful idiots still hope to cut a deal."
~~ Zev Chafets

"[M]ake no mistake -- we are going to fight the terrorists. The question is do we fight them over there -- or do we fight them here. I choose to fight them over there."
~~ Gen. Tommy Franks

A President Kerry will mean the lesson of 9/11 will need to learned again.� Or rather, it will mean he didn't learn it on 9/11. He has already said as much.
~~ veritas

veritas on "undecideds"

The only way to remain undecided at this point is if one thinks the war against Jihadistan [tm The Federalist] is just one more issue the US can choose to engage or not. Like whether to sign Kyoto, or to debate it more.

Undecidedness in this election is not a position than can be held by an informed mind.

"The term 'informed opinion' is redundant. An opinion without some factual basis isn't an opinion, it's a prejudice."
-- James Phillips

Yellow Ribbons

by BonnieBlueFlag

For months and even years now we have loudly proclaimed, "I Support the Troops!" We have yellow ribbons and patriotic symbols everywhere.

We have done what we could as we are hunched over a keyboard in our pajamas and slippers, while our men have faced the hardships of being away from home and family.

On Tuesday, November 2, people like John Kerry, George Soros and Osama bin Laden will attempt a "Bloodless Coup d'etat." If they are successful, the Troops that we supposedly support, will be handed over to a Commander in Chief who is totally "Unfit for Command!"

Our Troops have endured extreme heat and living conditions, to keep the terrorists away from Main Street America. All they have asked for in return is the Commander in Chief of their choice, "President Bush."

We who have said, "I wish there was more that I could do," must go to the polls on Tuesday, must enlist everyone we know to go vote, and to vote for President Bush.

Even if you live in a state that shows Bush ahead by 15 points, you must go wait in line in the heat or the rain to make your voice heard. For almost 4 years now we have heard repeatedly, that Bush did not win the popular vote. Maybe he would have, if the news media had not declared Gore the winner in Florida before their polls even closed!

The minions of Kerry, Clinton, Soros and bin Laden will be everywhere. They will especially attempt to thwart the vote of the military, because they know it will be heavily for Bush. We have the added responsibility of voting for our Troops wherever we can. When we walk into that voting booth, a US Soldier or a Marine may be standing beside us.

For those of us who cannot pick up a gun and walk a post, we must pick up a ballot and vote for President Bush!

More Osama

By Aussiegirl

I just can't shut up tonight. New thoughts keep intruding. Some have suggested that this is little more than a peace overture from a beleaguered Osama Bin Laden who is uttering the Islamic version of "uncle".

But I disagree. I don't think this is a call for a truce at all. Fanatics and magalomaniacs like Osama Bin Laden don't give up their dreams of world domination and a caliphate so easily.

No, this is plain and simple Osama's attempt to create a Spain here in America. He is parroting the dem talking points -- most of his lines are taken directly from the Michael Moore movie. He is telling those dems and the idiots who want to vote for Kerry what they want to hear -- that if they all play nice and just do what Osama wants -- and leave them alone -- he will leave us alone. He even pops in the bit about Sweden. Why are you not like Sweden? he laments.

But he completely miscalculates the effect of his words, because he's an idiot and not nearly as smart as he thinks. This only galvanizes Americans to realize that the threat of terror is real and that we could be struck at any moment. And who has been consistently polling 23 points higher on the question of who can best fight the war on terror? George Bush.

I think the Bin Laden thing blows everything else out of the water clear until election day -- the conversation is over. No more suprises from the MSM, no more scandals popped at the last minute -- this is such a bombshell that it's all over. It's Friday night. There's just the weekend cycle which will be taken over by the Osama story -- all the guests and questions are being rearranged as we speak to take this news into account.

This is nothing more than a pathetic attempt to influence our election.

Bin Laden is probably unable to launch a truly spectactular strike, so this is the second best thing. In a way, he overreached with 9/11, which was spectacular beyond his hopes. And now, nothing short of something even MORE spectacular will suffice, or he looks weak. Or maybe he calculates that a major terror strike would be counterproductive, but a seductive appeal to the peaceniks might have just the right touch to get Kerry elected so that he gets a few years to regroup while Kerry is meeting with Jacques Chirac and swilling the Chardonnay. After all, it's Osama who has perfected the Arabic art of pretending to surrender and negotiate a truce while using the opportunity to either escape or rearm and regroup. Sadr has been playing that game for months now in Fallujah.

Either way -- he loses -- and Kerry loses -- big -- I think -- I hope --

UBL in his own words

By Aussiegirl

OK -- below you can read the entire transcript of Osama's rant. It tallies almost line for line with the talking points of the Kerry campaign and the Ted Kennedy, Michael Moore and Al Gore wing of the leftist democrats. And what's interesting to me is that for all Bin Laden's posturing as a wise and insightful leader of his people, attacking us more in sorrow than in anger, and justifying his attacks as simply a natural reaction to the evil depradations of the United States and Israel, he completely misunderstands and miscontrues American motivations and reactions. Or should I say, he has become convinced that the left-wing rantings of Michael Moore, Howard Dean, Ted Kennedy and John Kerry and the idiots of Hollywood represent mainstream American thinking. So he parrots their idiotic talking points. You almost wonder that he sits in on the morning briefing with John Kerry as they plot how to blame more bad stuff in the world on George Bush.

Where could he have gotten the bit about the children's goat story and the 7 minutes if not from Michael Moore's movie? And he acts like he didn't want to kill all those people but it was evil Bush who sat and read for 7 minutes who is responsible for the carnage.

But he is completely wrong if he thinks this is going to influence the election towards Kerry. This is probably the worst news Kerry could have imagined, it is probably the worst news the MSM could have imagined. They had inoculated themselves (they thought) to what they fully expected was a production of Bin Laden right before election day by George Bush in an October Surprise, by predicting it ahead of time. It was months ago that Maddie Albright, in all seriousness asked this question in the green room of one of the TV talk shows. Just a week or two ago Theresa Heinz was predicting that the Bush administration had Osama in hiding and would produce him. So can you imagine the grinding and gnashing of teeth tonight?

Not only that, this preempts any more surprises the MSM and Kerry Kamps may have had in store for Bush, a la the missing explosives story. I was fully expecting that more stories were upcoming. And as a matter of fact there was some story that had HALIBURTON (run children, run!!!) in it today. But this story is just going to blow everything else out of the water until election day.

And Kerry, in his statement, started off OK -- stating that Americans were all united in their opposition to terrorists and their determination to hunt them down, etc. -- but then he just couldn't resist getting his political digs in. This is such bad form. It exposes him as the pathetic, opportunistic and cynical political hack that he has always been. He exposes himself once more as completely unready to take any position of power.

There is no question that this tape puts the issue and danger of a major terror attack on our soil front and center, right up until election day. And it reminds everyone that the dangers of terrors are real -- and that there is no way to avoid the battles that lie ahead.

As such, it is a tremendous miscalculation on the part of Bin Laden. And you only have to look at the faces of the dem spokesnoids tonight to see the utter gloom and doom that this has cast over their chances to win. Bin Laden thought all he had to do was echo Michael Moore's movie, and American would tremble and rush to support Kerry. But those words of Kerry's and Kennedy's are going to turn to ashes in their mouths on election day. I predict that this will swing any undecided or wishy-washy voter solidly into the Bush camp on election day. And hopefully, will discourage Kerry voters.

From my lips to God's ears.

Here is the translated text of the OBL speech via CNN:

Bin Laden: 'Your security is in your own hands'
(CNN) -- Osama bin Laden delivered a new videotaped message which aired on the Arab language network Al-Jazeera Friday. This is a transcript of his remarks as translated by CNN senior editor for Arab affairs Octavia Nasr.
You, the American people, I talk to you today about the best way to avoid another catastrophe and about war, its reasons and its consequences.
And in that regard, I say to you that security is an important pillar of human life, and that free people do not compromise their security.
Contrary to what [President George W.] Bush says and claims -- that we hate freedom --let him tell us then, "Why did we not attack Sweden?" It is known that those who hate freedom don't have souls with integrity, like the souls of those 19. May the mercy of God be upon them.
We fought with you because we are free, and we don't put up with transgressions. We want to reclaim our nation. As you spoil our security, we will do so to you.
I wonder about you. Although we are ushering the fourth year after 9/11, Bush is still exercising confusion and misleading you and not telling you the true reason. Therefore, the motivations are still there for what happened to be repeated.
And I will talk to you about the reason for those events, and I will be honest with you about the moments the decision was made so that you can ponder. And I tell you, God only knows, that we never had the intentions to destroy the towers.
But after the injustice was so much and we saw transgressions and the coalition between Americans and the Israelis against our people in Palestine and Lebanon, it occurred to my mind that we deal with the towers. And these special events that directly and personally affected me go back to 1982 and what happened when America gave permission for Israel to invade Lebanon. And assistance was given by the American sixth fleet.
During those crucial moments, my mind was thinking about many things that are hard to describe. But they produced a feeling to refuse and reject injustice, and I had determination to punish the transgressors.
And as I was looking at those towers that were destroyed in Lebanon, it occurred to me that we have to punish the transgressor with the same -- and that we had to destroy the towers in America so that they taste what we tasted, and they stop killing our women and children.
We found no difficulties in dealing with the Bush administration, because of the similarities of that administration and the regimes in our countries, half of which are run by the military and half of which are run by monarchs. And our experience is vast with them.
And those two kinds are full of arrogance and taking money illegally.
The resemblance started when [former President George H.W.] Bush, the father, visited the area, when some of our own were impressed by America and were hoping that the visits would affect and influence our countries.
Then, what happened was that he was impressed by the monarchies and the military regimes, and he was jealous of them staying in power for tens of years, embezzling the public money without any accountability. And he moved the tyranny and suppression of freedom to his own country, and they called it the Patriot Act, under the disguise of fighting terrorism. And Bush, the father, found it good to install his children as governors and leaders.
We agreed with the leader of the group, Mohammed Atta, to perform all attacks within 20 minutes before [President George W.] Bush and his administration were aware of what was going on. And we never knew that the commander-in-chief of the American armed forces would leave 50,000 of his people in the two towers to face those events by themselves when they were in the most urgent need of their leader.
He was more interested in listening to the child's story about the goat rather than worry about what was happening to the towers. So, we had three times the time necessary to accomplish the events.
Your security is not in the hands of [Democratic presidential nominee John] Kerry or Bush or al Qaeda. Your security is in your own hands. Any nation that does not attack us will not be attacked.
�Find this article at:
http://edition.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/10/29/bin.laden.transcript �

Friday, October 29, 2004

UBL speaks

By Aussiegirl

Well, UBL has spoken. And since Bin Laden used, almost verbatim, language from Michael Moore's crockumentary Farenheit 9/11, it is clear that Kerry has found another world leader who supports his candidacy for the presidency. We can also be sure that Bin Laden also probably has a membership in Netflix International because he has obviously seen the video.

Just my quick observations. I think this IS the pre-election terror attack intended to influence the outcome of the election. Bin Laden is obviously watching what is going on in our media, and has hit all the right notes, at the right time, to echo the script of the democrat party and the democrat candidate. He even mentioned Bush reading about the goat while the people in the towers burned to death.

It is now perfectly obvious that just as he did in the Vietnam war, Kerry's public statements are giving aid and comfort to the enemy in a time of war. He is right. His Vietnam experience has equipped him perfectly for the role he is playing today.

Most likely this will play to Bush's advantage. Bush polls way out in front of Kerry as to who can manage the war on terror best. To be reminded by this tape that the threat is still out there is only to be reminded that we have to keep an administration in power which is already fighting a war on terror and is doing a good job. In a way, the public has become complacent, and I think a lot of people do not actually believe that the terror threat in this country is really a danger anymore because Bush has done such an excellent job of protecting the homeland during this time.

Beyond that we will have to wait and see if this is a signal for a large-scale attack or simply the best that Bin Laden can muster at the time.

Ironically, the Kerry people were convinced that George Bush had already bagged Osama and would produce him a few days before the election. Instead Osama has produced himself and given us all a nasty Halloween surprise. We'll have to wait and see if all he can muster is a big "Boo"!!

Well, if nothing else, it pretty much puts the possibility of a few tons of explosives missing into perspective.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Who will jubilate?

By Aussiegirl

A partial list for those of you who are still undecided. Think about it. A person is known by the company he keeps.

Who will jubilate if Kerry wins?

Kim Il Jong
Fidel Castro
United Nations (excepting our allies)
Osama Bin Laden
Saddam Hussein
Yassir Arafat (assuming he's still alive)
Jacques Chirac
Kofi Annan
Hans Blix
Mohammed al Baradei
Jesse Jackson
Al Sharpton
Alec Baldwin
Barbara Streisand
Liberal Hollywood
CBS and Dan Rather, et al.
NBC and Katy Couric and Matt Lauer
ABC and Peter Jennings and Charlie Gibson
PBS and Bill Moyers
The New York Times
Ted Kennedy
Hillary Clinton
Madeleine Albright
Jimmy Carter
Bill Clinton
James Carville
Terry McAuliffe
Henry Waxman

Feel free to add your own favorites

Only one man fits the bill


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream---and not make dreams your master;
If you can think---and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings---nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And---which is more---you'll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling

veritas meminit

veritas meminit

Sir Winston advises Senator Kerry --

"The present problem cannot be cured by anything slick,cheap, swift and impatient. It is to be done by hard work in many spheres of action."
~~ Winston S. Churchill

"In my experience of large enterprises, I have found it is often a mistake to try to settle everything at once."
~~ Winston S. Churchill

Things that go boom in the night and other scary thoughts

By Aussiegirl

Here we go again. Or -- there they go again. The NYT/CBS/DNC have launched another coordinated blitzkrieg aimed at influencing the upcoming election. The scenario is by now familiar. The media "break" a story which is ostensibly damaging to the administration, in this case the supposed mishandling or loss of lots of stuff that blows up, and the Kerry camp, mirabile dictu, just HAPPENS to have a campaign TV spot all prepared with the NYT headline prominently featured. Kerry hammers away constantly with the accusation, dem spokesenoids hit the airwaves with their talking points all memorized, while CBS fills in the colors of the outline with some juicy details and dramatic readings from Dan Rather.

But somehow this all seems familiar. Isn't there a sense of deja vu here? Oh yes, it was the CBS case against George Bush of forged document fame, just a few short weeks ago. How soon we forget. The scenario was exactly the same then. CBS runs with the story, Kerry is all ready with ads and speeches. Major hit on Bush. But -- each time something unexpected has happened. Because of the internet and the ready access to that inconvenient thing for propagandists everywhere -- i.e. -- THE FACTS -- the story was discredited almost as soon as the ink was dry or in CBS's case, Dan Rather's mike was removed. Of course Kerry and the spokesnoids are still screaming the same story, but it's beginning to sound a little ridiculous.

Before that it was the parade of blockbuster books on CBS. You remember. Dickie Clarke and Bob Woodward, etc. etc. -- were there others? -- I forget. � It rarely takes more than one news cycle for these trumped up stories to be entirely discredited. This time from another member of the MSM, NBC, which had embedded journalists who say that the stuff was already gone when the troops arrived. But then, there are other scenarios too. And no one knows anything for sure. What we DO know for sure is that once again the journalistic equivalent of attempted ballot stuffing and voter fraud has taken place.

What may have happened here, in my view, is that Kerry and the NYT jumped the gun a bit, in their eagerness to jump on this issue and hammer it home until election day. CBS had planned to run it on Sunday night. Just in time for the Monday morning papers and the morning news as we all staggered off to work in the morning. By the time anyone had a chance to evaluate the truth or reliability of the news -- BINGO -- it would be election day and voters would dash to the polls with images of things blowing up and the unbearable unreliability of George Bush ringing in their ears.

That was the way it was supposed to be. But luckily the NYT jumped the gun and the real story came out through talk radio and the internet fact checkers. Such inconvenient things -- facts. And now even the president is vigorously defending himself for a change. How wonderful it is to see him fire back with passion and vigor. Too long we've sat back and let these lies pass.

There can be no doubt that the fear and loathing on the other side must be considerable. They have lost all pretence of being unbiased. They have ignored any attempt to mask their coordination. It simply doesn't matter any more. The camouflage is off -- it only exists on Kerry's crisp new unwrinkled goose-hunting suit. They don't care any more. They know that if they don't win this they've lost their grip on power, perhaps for a generation or more.

The old saw goes that your enemy is never as dangerous as when he's cornered. For all intents and purposes, the liberal media establishment, which includes the MSM and the democrat party along with a cohort of usual suspects in academia and Hollywood, see it all slipping from their fingers.

They have lost their grip on the legislative and executive branches of the federal government. Increasingly, they control only the inner cities and other major urban areas politically. The vast heartland of "flyover country" has moved away from them, or, more precisely, they have moved away from Middle America. Just as the democrat party left Reagan, the democrat party has abandoned America along with reason in its quest for establishing its liberal socialist utopia.

And the logical outcome of all this, if their plan fails and George Bush wins a second term as he so richly deserves? Endless litigation, with an army of lawyers already assembled with their writs already locked and loaded and ready for firing. Already suits have been filed in Florida. We all fear a repeat of Florida. But this time we will have Florida in as many as 20 states perhaps, with litigation that has the potential to paralyze the will of the nation to pursue the war on terror. Litigation and distraction which will make us more vulnerable to terrorist attack and make it more difficult for the Commander in Chief to be effective in Iraq, much less institute his domestic policies or agenda. It is obvious that protecting America and putting the country's interests before the interests of gaining power is the last thing on their minds.

All of the pre-emptive litigation, the pre-emptive screaming about voter disenfranchisement and voter intimidation is geared towards de-legitimizing the second term of George Bush, if not stealing the election outright.

Failing to take the election through the courts, who could be surprised to see an eventual attempt to impeach the president as the next logical step. Nothing would surprise me now. An impeachment would fail with a Republican controlled House and Senate, but the damage to the stability of the nation and of the president's ability to lead and govern would be severely hampered. And the stage is probably being set now. With the stories on Abu Graib, the WMD scenario, the "missing explosives", Valerie Plame, who knows what trumped up charges will be filed and created to usurp power. �

Perhaps I'm spinning out scary Halloween tales here, of things that go boom in the night. But the desperation of the left is beginning to outright scare me to death. I see how our entire system can be subverted. I see how it is possible that we could become nothing more than a banana republic, ruled by a bunch of unelected judges and media moguls, with our elections mired in endless litigations. A coup d'etat through the courts. If our electoral process is perverted and subverted in the ways we are increasingly seeing, the handwriting may be on the wall. I see this as a fight to the death.

Either the liberal/leftist alliance and the democrat party as it is now constituted is defeated and discredited with a resounding victory at the polls on November 2nd which is fraud and litigation proof. Or we have a chaotic mess in this country.

Jefferson anticipated the danger

Jefferson on the danger of the judiciary

Letter to Charles Hammond, August 18, 1821: "The germ of dissolution of our federal government is in the constitution of the federal Judiciary working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped."

Letter to Thomas Ritchie, Dec. 25, 1820: "The judiciary of the United States is the subtle corps of sappers and miners constantly working under ground to undermine the foundations of our confederated fabric. They are construing our constitution from a co-ordination of a general and special government to a general and supreme one alone. This will lay all things at their feet, and they are too well versed in English law to forget the maxim, 'boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem.'"

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Some things never change

veritas meminit

In view of approaching election day --

"The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men."
~~ Plato

Tolstoy on Kerry?

"In order to get power and retain it, it is necessary to love power; but love of power is not connected with goodness but with qualities that are the opposite of goodness, such as pride, cunning and cruelty."
~~ Leo Tolstoy

Monday, October 25, 2004

Compare and contrast and discuss amongst yourselves

veritas meminit

From time to time, I will offer thoughts for you to contrast. Conclude what you will.

"If I were president, we would not be in Iraq today, we would not be at war."
~~ John F. Kerry

"No matter how enmeshed a commander becomes in the elaboration of his own thoughts, it is sometimes necessary to take the enemy into account."
~~ Winston Churchill

veritas meminit

"We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness."
~~ Ronald Reagan

A friend of truth speaks

There seems to me to be a simple truth that I haven't heard elsewhere yet about this election. That being that we have reached a time when liberalism must fail or it's over, really over. Think about that a minute. As of the beginning of this century, the US cannot be safe from even the most remote and backward regime. No ocean, airport, bridge, or border checkpoint can separate us from those out there who wish us dead. Those days are now and forever past.

The differences in this election really boil down to good vs. bad - people, choices, and future. The character of the man in the White House has never ever mattered more. Literally everything we are, what we believe, and why we exist as a nation is on the line here. To win this war is not just one option, it's the only option. I don't want to wake up one day and hear "The USA 1776-2004, RIP".

If Kerry in his delusional mind believes he can defuse the threats facing us from many directions by turning back the clock, someone needs to tell him the clock stopped on 9/11, and we can't go back, ever!

~~ amicus veritatis

Saturday, October 23, 2004

A musical interlude

By Aussiegirl

Another weekend and as the election draws ever nearer the level of desperation and rage grows daily on the dem side, to the point where one almost despairs. Ann Coulter being "pied" by two hoodlums, Bush/Cheney headquarters being vandalized and attacked all over the country, political signs on private property being stolen on a daily basis, even in my quiet suburban and ostensibly "civilized" neighborhood. Finally one grows weary of the ugliness and must find retreat and succor in the verities, those things which give us sustenance. And as I always do, I find I turn to music, which has powers to soothe even the most savage Republican breast. Whether it can soothe the democrats only they can answer.

But let us consider a fine composer named Frederick Delius. Having recently received some new CD's from Amazon of his music I was moved to do a little research on the net and learn a bit more about him.

Frederick Delius was an English composer of German parentage, (1862 - 1934). He lived for a time in Florida where he ran an orange grove. He wrote the sublime and beautiful "Florida Suite" while living there, and was heavily influenced by the negro spirituals he heard. I found a website with much information and a page of Delius's quotes on music, and I was so moved I thought I would publish them here, as a balm to all political souls in need of some healing at this contentious time. You don't need to know a thing about music to appreciate that this man was a true artist -- in the truest sense of the word -- and it doesn't matter the form -- writer, artist, painter, sculptor, novelist, poet, musician, filmmaker, etc. -- you have to remain true to yourself and your inner core. Beethoven would have agreed with every word. That's why we read -- and why we listen to music -- or look at fine paintings -- or watch great plays -- to break bread for a moment with geniuses of the past (or present), who inform our lives and our souls with their wisdom and insight.



Emotion is the flesh and the blood of music. Nothing is so wonderful as elemental feeling; nothing is more wonderful in art than elemental feeling expressed intensely.
Music is a cry of the soul. It is addressed and should appeal instantly to the soul of the listener. It is a revelation, a thing to be reverenced.

It is only that which cannot be expressed otherwise that is worth expressing in music.

The only way for any man to write music is to follow the line of his own feelings.

Always stick to your likings - there are profound reasons for them.

The real musical genius writes for no other purpose but to express his own soul, and in so doing finds life's greatest satisfaction and joy.

Give vent to the expression of your feelings in your own way, and you will eventually find it.

Music is a way of expressing one's feelings; and one ought to follow one's own inclinations entirely, otherwise one will never attain to any intensity of expression or emotion - the two essential things in music.

No composer whose chief idea is to be brilliant or startling ever lasts. Cleverness counts for very little, in my opinion.

I believe that harmony is entirely a matter of instinct.

In music, which ought to be the expression of emotion, only that which is based on emotion is capable of development, and nothing based on technique or on anything objective will develop into anything but mere intellectuality.

You can't make music out of theories. When a man has to write about his methods of composition you may be sure he has nothing to say.

Form is nothing more than imparting spiritual unity to one's thought. It is contained in the thought itself, not applied as something that already exists.

The Negroes showed a truly wonderful sense of musicianship and harmonic resource in the instinctive way in which they treated a melody, and, hearing their singing in such romantic surroundings, it was then and there that I first felt the urge to express myself in music.

Visit the Delius website to learn more about the man and his music at:

Well -- it looks like there is another Delius lover out there, and such a nice comment it was I just had to post it on the main board so others can appreciate it. Thanks, Pindar, for the compliments and beautiful thoughts on Delius and his music. And thanks for the tip on other English composers, I'm only familiar with Vaughn Williams of the ones you mentioned -- so something to look forward for me.

Comment: Pindar said...

After posting comments on the veritas and amicus veritatis posts and feeling more and more frustrated and angry, I came to this lyrical post by Aussiegirl, and I relaxed, my mood mellowed, and suddenly life became a thing of beauty, not of ugliness. Not only does she have a shrewd and insightful mind on matters political, and a wonderful sense of humor and play, she also, as it turns out, likes one of my favorite composers, Delius. I find that English composers, like Delius, Vaughn Williams, Walton, Butterworth, all have a beautiful sense of melody, sometimes dreamy, sometimes passionate, full of woodland glades and autumn paths. And their titles are often so evocative, for example Delius's "Over the Hills and Far Away", Butterworth's "Banks of Green Willow", Walton's "Belshazzar's Feast". There's a poetry in English music that's different from other music, peaceful, rural, lush, captivating, sui generis. Perhaps I've gone on too long, but music is the one art that burrows itself right into your soul (perhaps it's because the vibrations set up corresponding vibrations within) and rests there and pours in beauty without any intellectual work on your part. Thanks also to Aussiegirl for posting Delius' wonderful comments on his art. What I have tried to say somewhat laboriously he has said very succinctly: "Music is a cry of the soul". Just what we need in these soulless times!

Friday, October 22, 2004

What sauce will she serve with that goose?

veritas dixit

Home is the Hunter

OK, everyone who thinks Maria Teresa Thierstein Simoes-Ferreira�Heinz Kerry is going to pluck and clean that goose, raise your hands.

veritas dixit

veritas on Teresa Heinz-Kerry

"This woman's as weird as plaid grass."
~~ veritas

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Let Theresa be Theresa

By Aussiegirl

What do we do with a phenomenon like Theresa? Personally, I say -- leave her to Heaven -- as Claudius's ghost said to Hamlet about Gertrude.

The old adage -- when your opponent is committing suicide, just stand out of the way -- is never more apt than now. The Kerry Kamp is not content, evidently, with the steady erosion of support amongst women voters, (according to Newsweek's latest poll, Bush now leads among women 49% to Kerry's 43%) they send out Theresa to finish the job already started by her husband. All well and good, I say. The more honesty over on the dem side the better. Let's hear more about Mary Cheney, the Cheney's lesbian daughter. I think the country has not had enough yet. Let's have more of Edwards shouting "Heal! Heal! Heal!!" as he announces that the lame will walk, the sick shall be healed and for all we know, the dead will rise from their graves on Halloween -- giving everybody a REALLY rollicking holiday if only he and Kerry are elected. And while we're at it, how dare Dick Cheney, a man with a history of heart disease and with an implanted pacemaker who obviously falls into one of the high risk categories which makes it imperative for him to get a vaccine, be so incredibly evil and heartless as to get a shot for himself. And then we hear from Drudge that Clinton and Hillary and all the Senators and senate staff got one -- oh yeah -- never mind -- Haliburton! Haliburton! Haliburton!

But, let's get back to Theresa, the gift that keeps on giving.

At least there is progress on this front as an apology was quickly forthcoming when the remarks backfired, although the apology leaves much to be desired as well.

But let's examine what she said. She was quoted as saying First Lady Laura Bush has never held "a real job, I don't know that she's ever had a real job - I mean, since she's been grown up" even though of course any person who has been paying the least bit of attention knows that Laura Bush, in addition to being First Lady for 4 years and a mother of twin girls, was also a full time teacher and librarian for years before she married George Bush.

But why let a little thing like a nasty fact get in the way of your own opinion. In a sense, I think that the dems are so carried away with their own insulated concepts of hatred and contempt for the Bushes and Republicans in general, that they slip constantly and assume that the whole world thinks as they do. In a sense this is little different from Hillary Clinton saying that she "could have stayed home and baked cookies, but she chose to have a career instead" -- a line which by implication condemned all women who stay home and bake cookies as worthless idiots and a line for which she was not criticized except by the VRWC.

The USA Today interview on the 19th of October contains a number of interesting questions and answers but this was the one that really got people's attention.

But before we go on to that, here's another doozy that just goes to show you what a brilliant intellect and mind Theresa has:

Q: You'd be just the second first lady who was born abroad, the first
who had two foreign parents. Do you think that causes Americans any pause?

A: "Well, Americans who pause probably don't know history very well, because we are all from somewhere. We are continually being from somewhere. And in such a young country as this - it's not like we're talking, you know, old Europe. We are constantly renewing our energy and our knowledge and our heart and our soul, enriched like no other country in that sense. And to fear that or disparage that I don't think is American. And I never hear that out there."

Here Theresa demonstrates her ability to say absolutely nothing that makes sense, and yet, to hit every high note of the democratic talking points (and hers). Permit me, as a fluent speaker of 3 languages, to interpret the enigmatic and elusive Theresa Heinz Kerry, speaker of 5 languages. The lack of two additional languages puts me at somewhat of a disadvantage, but I think I can just manage to bridge the gap that separates us.

Point #1: "Americans who pause" -- hmm -- I suppose she is referring to the quaint American usage of "to give pause", meaning to cause one to reconsider, but leaving that aside, the real "meat" of the quote here is that Americans do not know their own history. No, and we are waiting to be instructed by the multi-lingual Mother Theresa. Put down number one. Point taken. We are all boobs in flyover country, especially those of use who "pause". And furthermore, we are all in a continuing state of "being from somewhere". This, I think is a subtle reminder that "being" is an ongoing state of existence and one that can only be contemplated by people who have accidentally stumbled across Jean-Paul Sartre somewhere at a cocktail party in Paris. So -- she is a student of philosophy as well.

Point #2: "And in such a young country as this - it's not like we're talking, you know, old Europe." Put down number 2 -- and she's only 2 sentences along -- great job, Theresa. Translation for those of you who "pause" and only speak American -- America is a dumb country and not as culturally superior as "Old Europe" whence of course, she and John Kerry originate (she by way of Portuguese colonialists who settled and exploited the land, natives and natural resources of Africa -- but let's not bring up inconvenient facts).

Point #3: "We are constantly renewing our energy and our knowledge and our heart and our soul, enriched like no other country in that sense. And to fear that or disparage that I don't think is American." Tada!! A twofer!! A put down and a compliment all rolled into one. America is strong for being constantly renewed by immigrants BUT, it's unAmerican to fear or disparage immigrants (read herself and all the illegal aliens that she hopes vote for her husband in droves on election day.)

And then we can look at the Laura Bush question and answer:

Q: You'd be different from Laura Bush?

A: "Well, you know, I don't know Laura Bush. But she seems to be calm,
and she has a sparkle in her eye, which is good. But I don't know that she's ever had a real job - I mean, since she's been grown up. So her experience and her validation comes from important things, but different things. And I'm older, and my validation of what I do and what I believe and my experience is a little bit bigger - because I'm older, and I've had different experiences. And it's not a criticism of her. It's just, you know, what life is about."

Translation -- er -- "deconstruction" is the term currently in favor, I believe: "But she seems to be calm,
and she has a sparkle in her eye, which is good." A subtle point which can be read two ways, she's dumb, and/or, not a raving looney bat like me, AND she has a sparkle, which is all I can think of to say about her, and darn, why don't my eyes sparkle like that rather than burn with a flame of a thousand tormented nights with the terminally boring John F. Kerry???

"But I don't know that she's ever had a real job - I mean, since she's been grown up." It is passing strange to refer to a grown woman with grown daughters who is the First Lady of the United States as someone who's been "grown up". I suppose Laura Bush might have worked as a child, given as how she didn't grow up in a white colonialist's home like Theresa with black servants fetching and carrying, cooking and cleaning and otherwise "working". Theresa never had to sully her little fingers with "work". And I'm simply tired of the analyzing the rest of it. It is obvious to all that these were shallow and silly remarks by a shallow, snobbish and out of touch woman who never misses an opportunity to damn with faint praise while at the same time praising herself and her non-existent "accomplishments" to the high heavens.

Suffice it to say. She's done us all a favor -- let her speak some more. I can hardly wait. As Claudius said in "I, Claudius" -- let all the poisons come out.

USAToday -- The Real Running Mates

Find this article at:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/politicselections/2004-10-19-teresa_x.htm �

Yesterday America -- tomorrow the world?

By BonnieBlueFlag

Well, at long last all has been revealed! I've thought all along that Bill Clinton was after the UN Secretary General position, that is why he has been running all over the world meeting with the leaders of other countries. He has been campaigning for votes.

It was too strange that Hillary didn't run for president this year. She couldn't be president of the US with Bill wanting the UN job, someone else has to be his sponsor, enter King of the Clowns, Kerry. Once Bill is the Secretary General, the way is clear for Hillary to run for president. She can easily challenge Kerry in 2008 for the Democratic nomination.

All the while that we were thinking that the Clintons wouldn't want Kerry to win this year, they were actually wanting him to win, because it is all part of their plan. Boy, you have got to give them credit for the way they try to manipulate everyone.

Unfortunately, this means there will be no leak from Hillary's secret FBI files at the last minute to compromise Kerry. I sure hope that Karl Rove has something up his sleeve, because the Clintons have too much ridding on this to let GW Bush win this time around.

Washington Times
Analysis: Clinton eyes U.N. post
By ROLAND FLAMINI, UPI Chief International Correspondent
WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Former U.S. President Bill Clinton has set his sights on becoming U.N. secretary-general. A Clinton insider and a senior U.N. source have told United Press International the 56-year-old former president would like to be named leader of the world body when Kofi Annan's term ends early in 2006.
"He definitely wants to do it," the Clinton insider said this week.
A Clinton candidacy is likely to receive overwhelming support from U.N. member states, particularly the Third World. Diplomats in Washington say Clinton would galvanize the United Nations and give an enormous boost to its prestige. But the former president's hopes hang on a crucial question that will not be addressed until after the presidential elections: can he get the support of the U.S. government -- a prerequisite for nomination?
The political wisdom is that a second George W. Bush presidency would cut him off at the pass.


Tuesday, October 19, 2004

veritas dixit

On the election

"The right-left contest, no, the battle, in this country and in this election is deadly, deadly serious. Pout over Bush falling short of Caesar's-wife-purity on some ideological issue or another if you must, but shame if you fail to see what that self-centered pique will mean in the real world."
~~ veritas

On the war on terrorism

We have ONE option if survival is our goal. ONE. Just ONE.

And we have no time to ponder it.
~~ veritas

Monday, October 18, 2004

Bush? or Kerry? What are the stakes?

By Aussiegirl

Many times throughout history we wonder how different things would have been, if it were not for a single individual. In our own century we need go no further than the shining example of Winston Churchill and the fate of not only England, but the world, had it not been for his lone and brave battle. He carried England, and eventually the Allies, on his broad shoulders and the power of his will and ideas to eventual victory over the forces of darkness, evil and tyranny.

Imagine what would have happened if Chamberlain had carried out his disastrous policy of appeasement, with its seductive promise of "Peace in our time". And while you're at it -- make sure you are speaking either German or Japanese in your fantasy and imagine that jackbooted thugs can break into your home, night or day, and arrest you for even thinking, much less writing such seditious thoughts.

Now fast forward half a century. The United States, and indeed the world, stand on the brink of a precipice. A precipice which threatens to swallow all the progress that man has made for centuries, not only in technology and standards of living, but in philosophy, tolerance and in the appreciation of the rights of man.

The Islamic radicals have declared war on the civilized world. They declare that nothing short of our eradication and the institution of Sharia law and universal Muslim domination will suffice. Already in France and other parts of Europe, cowering nations bow to demands of their Islamic immigrants who insist that their host nation respect and pander to their backward ways.

The enemy may not be Islam, you say. There are peaceful Muslims. I'm sure there are. But they are intimidated into silence and thus acquiescence -- do you think they will stand up for your rights in the face of a sentence of death?

Forget about domestic issues. There is no bigger domestic issue than security. We can quibble over the finer points of education policy or tax policy when we are protected (but George Bush has better ideas on these domestic issues as well).

Imagine a Beslan taking place at your child's school. Imagine every time you see your family off in the morning, that you may never see them again if a terrorist decides to strike. Imagine how you will react when you hear that a nuclear device or dirty bomb has gone off in the downtown area where your husband or wife works.

Fanatics who are bent on death and destruction, who murder women and children and innocent civilians and behead hapless victims while shouting "God is Great!", cannot be reasoned with, they cannot be negotiated with, they will not come to a summit or a peace conference.

John Kerry is the Chamberlain of our time. He demands that any move America makes in its defense meets some "Global Test". He lives in a pre 9/11 world that we would all dearly love to inhabit again. But wishing doesn't make it so.

You may be casting the most important vote of your entire lifetime. One which will reverberate through history for generations. Do not fail the test of history. Do not bear the shame of being one of those who shrank from the hard work and choices of pursuing victory and freedom at all costs. Your children and grandchildren will thank you for it.

Or take your place with those who supported Chamberlain, in their vain desire for "peace at any cost" -- but know -- that as Churchill said of Chamberlain all those years ago: "You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war."

* * * * * * * * * * * *

If I were . . . by BonnieBlueFlag


If I were a Police Officer, I would vote for Bush, because while Kerry wouldn't cross a police picket line in Democratically secure Boston, he had no problem crossing two Florida police picket lines on his way to Orlando. The officer's contract expired Oct. 1, and they had notified Democratic official last week of the planned picket lines. Kerry aides said the picket lines were a surprise ploy of the Republican leaning Police Union.

If I were a Carpenter, a Plumber, an Electrician, etc., I would vote for Bush, because of low interest rates and the decrease in income taxes, new home sales have led the economic recovery. Home builders constructed more than 1.8 million new homes and apartment units last year. New home sales rose by 9.4 percent in August, the biggest increase in four years.

If I were a Real Estate Agent, a Loan Officer, etc., I would vote for Bush, because a record 1.1 million homes were sold last year. And those figures are expected to be exceeded this year.

If I were a Doctor, I would vote for Bush, because I am no longer able to afford medical malpractice insurance due to the unlimited (and often unwarranted) financial judgments awarded to trial lawyers and their clients.

If I were a Teacher, I would vote for Bush, because I went into teaching to make a difference in the lives of the students. However, in order to maintain my own livelihood, I am forced to move children along like sardines on a conveyor belt.

If I were a College Student, I would vote for Bush, because the number of Pell Grants increased by 1.3 million, and there was a 60% funding increase in the past three years.

If I were a Hunter or Gun Owner, I would vote for Bush, because the United Nations is debating a treaty pushed by the International Action Network on Small Arms, for which liberal billionaire George Soros is a chief benefactor. When this was introduced, President Bush sent a delegation to the U.N. to tell them the U.S. will not agree to anything that deals with removing gun rights for any American.

If I were a Farmer, I would vote for Bush, because he knows the plight of farmers and ranchers first hand. One of the first things he did as president was arrange for me to be able to show the bank what my allotment would be for that year, so that I could borrow money to plant my crops and improve my farm equipment for cultivation and harvest.

If I were a Parent, I would vote for Bush, for the future security and the education of my children.

If I were an Environmentalist, I would vote for Bush, because as a true environmentalist I know that our land, rivers and oceans must be managed not just conserved. Forests must be thinned, and there should be controlled burns for the sake of the vegetation and the wildlife.� Some seeds will only germinate after a fire.

If I were a Soldier, Sailor, Marine or Airman, I would vote for Bush, because I do not want to have as my Commander in Chief a man who should have been tried for treason. I do not wish to serve under a president that would send me into war, without the equipment necessary to win and survive that war.

If I were a Coal Miner, I would vote for Bush, because he believes that coal can be refined to a gas, and that the U.S. coal deposits are the equivalent to the oil reserves of Saudi Arabia.

If I were a Manufacturer, or a Factory Worker, I would vote for Bush, because factory activity has been rapidly increasing this year. Manufacturers have added more than 100,000 workers since January. Factory orders in July were at their highest level in four years.� Higher taxes and more business regulations would inhibit that growth.

If I were a Christian, I would vote for Bush, because he most nearly represents my views on family values and Christian morals.

If I were a Jew, I would vote for Bush, because he has refused to pander to Yasser Arafat, who he believes is a terrorist leader, and who has done nothing to improve the lives of his people, or to be a partner for peace with Israel.

If I were a Muslim, I would vote for Bush, because he has tried to create a free Muslim society both here and abroad.

If I were a Day Trader, or Stock Broker, I would vote for Bush, because many stock analysts have said that if Bush is reelected, they expect the stock market to rise to 12,000 by the end of the year


If I were a Trial Lawyer, I would vote for Kerry, because he and Edwards will reward me for my support, by not imposing any restrictions on how I can plunder the coffers of big business.

If I were a Hollywood Actor, I would vote for Kerry, because now that I have amassed a fortune, I am bored! I would like to be close to Washington power, so that my peers will think I am intelligent (even though I did not complete high school), and that I am a very important person.

If I were George Soros, I would vote for Kerry, because I am trying to buy the United States government and Kerry will be my perfect puppet. I would run for president myself, but the U.S. Constitution prevents that since I was born in Budapest, Hungary. I moved to the U.S. in 1956, so when the Constitution is changed for Arnold Schwarzenegger, it will also be changed for me.

If I were a Recreational Marijuana User, I would vote for Kerry, because the Kerry Administration is going to be totally obligated to George Soros for his monetary support, and George Soros wants the legalization of marijuana.

If I were a Terrorist, I would vote for Kerry, because he has promised to withdraw the coalition troops from Iraq leaving us a wide open territory for the reorganization of Al Qaeda. Osama bin Laden would then have unlimited monetary resources from the Iraqi oil, and Al Qaeda would be able to reimport the biological, chemical and conventional weapons from Syria

If I were a Liberal Judge, I would vote for Kerry so that I could continue to wield unlimited power by legislating from the bench.

If I were an Illegal Alien, I would vote for Kerry, because he will provide me with healthcare, welfare and unemployment benefits, even though I committed a crime entering this country illegally. Kerry will force the U.S. citizens who have worked hard for what they have, to pay for all this largess, because he will want my vote again in 2008.

If I were a Convicted Felon, I would vote for Kerry, because the Democrats believe that felons have a right to vote.� They do not believe that voting is a privilege that should be taken away from people who commit crimes against other U.S. citizens.

What's deep red, and sparkles and warms a woman's heart?

By BonnieBlueFlag

The Gift

Very recently I was given a gaily colored gift bag, by a dear long time close friend. The gift was so unexpected, it wasn't my birthday, or any other special occasion that would immediately come to mind. Had I forgotten some mutual anniversary date, a holiday that called for a gift exchange? No, it was simply a gift from a special friend.

After the initial delightful surprise of someone thinking of me in such a special way, I quickly removed the tissue paper only to be even more excited, by a gift like no other that I had ever received.

I gasped with joy as my eyes fell upon the exquisite deep ruby red color of the article in my hand. It was adorned by an array of stars. A large distinctive monogrammed initial placed ever so carefully as to be both practical, as well as envied by all who would gaze upon this Object d'art.

The monogram, though not my own, inspired such feelings of patriotism, affection and admiration that I exclaimed with glee,

"Oh, how wonderful, a bottle of "W" America's Ketchup!"

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Letters from Carol

By Aussiegirl

(Another in an occasional series of letters from my friend, Carol -- wherein Carol opines on politics, debates, Wagner, Rhetoric and Barnum and Bailey)

Helen --

As to the "debates," as I said what criterion do today's kids have? Do they learn Latin in schools? (Ah. My son did!) ... Do they learn Rhetoric? Or Logic? Ah. I got that in college, when I went. (Chosen! Rather than avoided. And, among my favorite subjects.) And, of course, Greek history, and theatre? Today, what the TV set boobs call debates, aren't.

But I wanted to say, "the short of it" ... is that Kerry as a debater is HOGWASH. Homer rolls in his grave at this stuff! Kerry is as close to eloquence as a stupid TV commercial that gets your attention by tooting the loudest whistles it can make. After he finishes speaking. And, I mean RIGHT AFTER HE FINISHES SPEAKING my mind wandered so far away that I couldn't repeat a thing he said.

Anymore than the crap they call music, is.
That's why I wanted to describe it to you in the sense of symphonic music. You'd never be fooled by garbage. By instrumentation that didn't work. You'd know better! And, yes, you can translate and also MUTE the stuff that came across, to get better views.

Helen, I can't hum his crappy tune. I can't repeat it. I don't know what it was. But getting my mental juices on a roll ... this he did not do. Maybe, that's why we're down to sound bites? You can't write a symphony if all you have is a mysterious plan that has no notes and no melody.

I have this mental picture of Dr. Fischer, my wonderful music appreciation teacher at Pasadena City College. The hardest geniuses to find, he said, are the ones who can write decent melodies. (Let alone write them consistently.)

And, how better to reach ya in this argument where we stand so firmly on common ground ... KNOWING YOU CAN SIT AT THE PIANO AND PUT YOUR MOODS TO MUSIC! Kerry lit no one's fires.

Ya know, even Barnum & Bailey could recognize the acts that weren't gonna make it with the crowds? The real failures belong to the elites who substituted this crap for what was once a great reach.

I think the "Global Test" ... And, the Mary Cheney gaffes, meant that both Edwards and Kerry lost all their debates. That's why I go back to the last "winner" and his stinking lockbox. That stinking lockbox is gonna get put to use. When people look for the remnants of the democratic party ... they'll find it got carted away to the dump.

Yup. We can laugh. The goons aren't winning. And, the one thing being on TV did to both Edwards and Kerry is that it let "slips" show us who they really are. (Just like Freud said. No mistakes are made without a reason. You want Kerry to say "he loves his wife?" How can that be, Helen, when he doesn't? You haven't sized phony couples up before?)

Also, when you're stressed and on your feet it is the softball questions that are gonna slip you up. Just as it did Dukakis.

Anyway, I think the debates will go down in history because James Baker did NOT make a mistake. He took the free publicity ... he built the debates away from the date we vote, just in case the crap did hit the fan. And, now everything, just everything, is pointing to Bush's victory. (I'm only hoping he's got coattails. And, we won't know that until we turn 11/2 around.)

Even though I gotta tell ya the biggest disappointment with the dems is how they've squandered what they inherited. While out here in California my gripe as a former democrat is a bit different. Bill Jones is unfit to be a senator. And, he's all ya got going to pick to throw Barbara Boxer out of gaining a 3rd term. The insides of the republican party in California is still very "elite" in its own right. Karl Rove hasn't gotten here, yet, to work his magic. (He will through Arnold. But it will take time.)

For some background, if this post hasn't gone on long enough is that Bill Jones is the money man who funded the recall against Grey Davis. When it picked up speed, and only then, did Schwartzenegger pick up these chips and he raced into the governor's mansion! (This killed Davis' chance to run as a presidential candidate in this race, by the way!) And, Bill Jones is pissed off! So they handed him the chance to run against Boxer. He's so lame, he just withdrew his $2-million from the race ... So he's not even putting up a fight. This is the republican crap that needs to be scratched off the stable's list of contendahs.

Parties end up having problems because the men who reach the top can be such turds.
And, I comfort myself since I'm not a republican by nature, telling myself that LINCOLN was a republican! Teddy Roosevelt was a republican! Reagan, a republican. And, this Bush a republican! Out of the presidential box the republicans are really fielding contendahs, now, for sure. It's not just a stupid rich businessman's party ... though looking at Bill Jones shows ya some of the political bedfellows are dogs.

We need two parties to keep the competition rolling. Just as we now need the NEW MEDIA to make big holes in the boob tube operation. We're gonna get there because the market is out there. And, if profits drop so what? There's still enough gravy to go around. Even today you'll notice Rush is a big star because the nutworks screwed up.
Very few revolutions really work. That's been our blessings. Ours seems to protect the COMMON GOOD in more ways than ever done before by mankind. We, it seems, can get together and do that ...

And, here I go again ... where else is this demonstrated but in the best music and the best symphonies? (Even Wagner touched greatness by salvaging his Viking mythology ... And, yes he did, Helen. He created great themes set to TONES. You know. More than just the scale as we knew it ... but grander ... And, if you sat on the wooden benches ... and you realized he hid the orchestra ... you'd find the music soaring up through your bloodstream.) Now, that takes debating skills!

Until then, here's hoping ... To be a successful country ... even though stupidity reigns 50/50 by our Maker's design ... I'm hoping MORE Americans have the brains that they've also shown in the past. Not based on schools. So many immigrants didn't have schooling. We can make up for the shortfall. As a matter of fact the daily tapping on computer keyboards ADDS to what people can do with their brains. They can write words far in excess of what people used to commit to journals. AND, they can communicate. Those that can't just drink their beers. And, many won't go to the polls. Some are even too ashamed to admit they can't sign their names without difficulty.

SHALOM. PEACE. HOMELAND SECURITY IS WORKING SO HARD TO KEEP US SAFE. And, lots of Americans are alert! � We really are not surrounded by dummies. FAITH! The rocket ship is now on the launching pad. And, we're in countdown mode.


Well -- Aussiegirl here again -- and you can see why I love this correspondence I have with Carol. For this I have the internet to thank, and the great lady of the web, Ms. Lucianne Goldberg, where I first had the privilege and delight of meeting Carol. I wanted to pick up on her marvelous comparison of these debates to music. Mark Steyn, who has written a wonderful book on the Broadway musical, called "Broadway Babies Say Goodnight", writes that you know a musical is going to be a hit if the audience leaves the theater humming one of the tunes from the show.

Similarly, Verdi, that greatest master of the opera, knew the same thing instinctively. For instance, he knew that "La Donna e Mobile" from Rigoletto, would be such an instant hit with the audience that he forbade the tenor to sing it during rehearsals, for fear that the stage hands would hear the tune and start whistling it or humming it before the premiere. He was right. It is probably one of the most recognized opera arias, and even people who know little of opera will probably be able to hum a few bars.

So the fact that Kerry did not leave us humming any tunes is just an indication that the debates are not going to put Kerry on the Broadway hit parade. As Carol said, as soon as he finished talking most people promptly forgot what he said. But somehow, all we remember is "Global test" and "Mary Cheney" -- both disastrous, clanging wrong notes that hurt everybody's ears and that continue to echo in the polls.

And she makes some other fine points as well that I'd like to touch on. The democrat party is imploding, and has squandered a lot of capital that it had over the years. It has sullied the reputations of some of its finest forebears and standard bearers of the past. And has strayed into a lot of blind alleys. Who is going to rescue it and how remains to be seen. And she's right that our system does need a strong two-party system, as much as we Republicans would love for everything to be in our hands forever. But we can see that power corrupts, and the old saw about absolute power holds no matter who wields the hammer. Even now we can see the dangers with an out of control Congress which is tempted to spend money like there's no tomorrow. But there always is.

But right now the democrat party has not earned the right, in my opinion, to lead this country for the foreseeable future because they have become hostage to all their wacko special interest groups, the gays, the minorities, the peaceniks and leftover nuclear freezeniks, the eco-freaks, and other assorted globaloneyists and leftist internationalists.

But the Republican party, as Carol suggests, from her vantage point as a "new Republican", and by her own admission feeling a bit uncomfortable in her new clothes, also has some lingering problems. And in a sense, Karl Rove and George Bush need to do more than simply remake the world, reshaping the Middle East as a place where democracy and freedom might find a toehold. They need to carry on the work of Ronald Reagan, who reshaped the party into his image after the disasters of Goldwater and the wilderness years. Yes, there is still a bit too much of the "clubbiness" about Republicans sometimes -- we have to open that tent even wider to bring in more people than ever. Those who call themselves patriotic Americans can differ on a wide variety of issues while still agreeing on fundamentals. And it's quite true -- and very frustrating -- to see weak candidates trotted out time and again against democrat candidates, because they are insiders or are "owed" something by the party. I don't understand all the machinations that go into these decisions, but they often appear bizarre and counterproductive.

I think George Bush and Karl Rove understand this fundamentally, and that Bush's "compassionate conservatism" is the name he gave for his vision of a new direction for the party. A party which needs to constantly look forward. Karen Hughes said she got involved in politics when George Bush asked her to join his campaign in Texas, because he seemed like a "new Republican" to her, and not the same old, same old.

In a sense, we can see that it is the Republican party which has a vision of the future. And ironically, it is the democrat party, that used to call itself the home of progressives and claimed to have a vision of the future, which instead harkens only to the past. The party of -- woulda, shoulda, coulda. The party that proposes to lead by hindsight. That proposes solutions that have failed time and time again in the world's history. The failed prescriptions of the past is no way to lead.

veritas dixit

(Aaahh -- whatever brought this to veritas' mind do you think? -- I think we can all say "Here, here!!")


We don't need "journalists," but we've got 'em.

We do need reporters, but we�don't have 'em.

Poll, schmolls

By Aussiegirl

USS Clueless returns with a statistical analysis of the poll trends from Real Clear Politics -- check it out -- you'll be glad you did.


Debates, schmebates

By Aussiegirl

David Brooks in the New York Times today writes a masterful send-up of the debates. Read it and you have the debates distilled to their finest essence. I've excerpted the first paragraph (hope Mr. Brooks doesn't mind)

Debate, Declaim, Debacle
Published: October 16, 2004

SCHIEFFER And our first question goes to Senator Kerry. Sir, your spending plans will cost over a trillion dollars. Your combined tax plans will cost $500 billion. How are you going to balance the budget?

KERRY Bob, I'm glad you asked me that question, but before I dodge it I'd like to thank you for moderating this debate, I'd like to thank Arizona State University for being such wonderful hosts and I'd like to thank Dick Cheney's daughter for being a lesbian - in case anybody didn't know.
Bob, as you know, this nation is on the brink of an apocalyptic catastrophe. Civilization as we know it is hanging on by a thread. Our culture has collapsed, our economy is in tatters, the human spirit is extinguished, children never laugh, God is dead, and families like Dick Cheney's are ashamed of their daughters, one of whom is a lesbian. All of this is because of George Bush...


He makes some great points here with marvelous humor. So -- who won these debates? The Kerry spinsters (and God willing may they be left at the altar on election day) have been running around the Nutworks screaming "Kerry won all three debates!! Kerry won all three debates!! Nya! Nya! Nya!" -- with looks of maniacal glee on their faces. Unfortunately, like a coach holding a "winning game plan" as he stares at a 14-10 loss on the scoreboard, all it amounts to is sticking to the pre-arranged game plan after the cheering has stopped and the engineering maintenance staff is clearing the last of the spilled beer, mashed hot dogs, and sticky popcorn from the stands. George Bush appears to be steadily gaining in the polls since the last debate, regardless of the spin.

What indeed IS remembered from the debates?? For all the spinning until we are all dizzy, for all the game plan which was obviously set into motion months back when Bush was given a more than reasonable "lead" in the polls, only to be predictably suddenly "losing ground" to Kerry after the debates, the impressions of the debate are sinking into the body politic -- read "da people". And the impression is not of Kerry being a superior debater, whatever that means. No, what we are left with are "gut check" impressions.

When we meet new people for the first time, or see old acquaintances in new surroundings, what is remembered? All the dizzying facts they threw our way? Or some comment that registered with our gut? It is a well-known fact that humans tend to remember those events that have an emotional effect on the "gut meter". We remember our feelings long after we have forgotten our specific thoughts. Why else can we still remember some embarrassing incident that happened in high school and have it suddenly attack us with full fury at the most inconvenient time? You are up at the podium receiving a lifetime achievement award, and suddenly an image comes into your mind of the time a teacher embarrassed you in front of the class because you had forgotten to read the assignment.

And spin as they might, and for all the Nutworks declaring the winner, and for all those flash polls and instant polls (that were rigged by democrats voting by pre-arranged signals from Terry McAullife) people are remembering the debates in a haze of impressions and fleeting images and memories.

What do I remember about Kerry? I remember his dour face. His constant pronouncements of doom and gloom. I remember "Wrong war, wrong time, wrong place." I remember "Global test", I remember "summit", I remember "Mary Cheney", I remember he failed to find one good word to say about Theresa or his daughters except they "keep me honest", I remember that his mother chided him from her deathbed, "Remember John, integrity, integrity, integrity."

And what do I remember of George Bush? That he looked tired in the first debate but still won the debate on points, if not style. That he was consistent. That he was sincere. That Kerry was constantly criticizing everything he did. That Bush pointed out over and over that Kerry had no plan to defeat the enemy and that claiming to bring allies to the table while insulting the allies that we have is not the way to win friends and influence future alliances. That he enunciated a consistent plan to defeat terrorism by bringing freedom, democracy and openness to a part of the world which is currently mired in autocracy, darkness and repression and hatred. That he loves his wife and daughters with a disarming passion and honesty. That he is a good man. That he tries hard. That he cares about America. That he cares about our future. That he cares about the soldiers he is forced to send into harm's way. That he recognizes the enemy and the danger that we all face. And that he is even willing to suffer political damage in order to do the right thing.

And what do I remember of Kerry and Edwards? That they are arrogant and condescending elitists, who look down their noses at most Americans as being too stupid to know what is in their best interests. That we need the elites like Kerry and Edwards to lead us out of the dark abyss of our ignorance and stupidity. That they concocted a cynical and calculated plan to drag the innocent daughter of the Vice-President into a national debate to humiliate Republicans and to fire up their own base. That there are no depths to which they will not stoop in order to regain power. That they are not interested in protecting America, but are only interested in winning the election because of some sense of Divine Right. And finally, that they will subordinate my safety and freedom to the dictates of some Global Authority.

I think we've had enough debates. And the impressions are left. The gut impressions. Now for Bush to close this game out with some tough campaigning right up until the end. If it ain't close, they can't cheat, as Hugh Hewitt says.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Carol's prayer for 11/2

By Aussiegirl

Well, it's time again for some correspondence from my good friend Carol, former democrat. And I couldn't agree more. Take it away, Carol!!


I pray for the sanity of America's common wisdom whereby Algorp's lockbox opens up and sucks in the entire democratic party. I'd like the day following election day to be so brutal on the dems, themselves, they'll be looking at a hole the size, or bigger than, Ground Zero. All sucked into the lockbox before it swings shut. How about you? CAROL

The Kerry/Cheney fallout continues

By Aussiegirl

There is something about this whole Mary
Cheney flap that is beginning to bother me more and more. And not just the obvious things that have us all outraged. There is an undercurrent to this whole creepy nonsense that give me the willies. Let's get the obvious things out of the way first.

This was plainly a planned strategy from early on, as Edwards went to great pains to mention Mary Cheney by name, and to suggest in his oiliest, smarmiest tones that he was sure that Dick and Lynne Cheney loved their daughter, etc. etc. I remember at the time nearly jumping out of my seat at the temerity and gall to bring up such a personal and completely irrelevant detail in that context. It was clearly meant to put Dick Cheney at a disadvantage -- he could hardly reach over and punch Edwards' pretty little face, satisfying as that might have been, and as much as Edwards deserved it. Nor could he tell him to go F.. himself as he had done in a manly way in a private encounter in the Senate Chamber to the very deserving Patrick Leahy. But Cheney's obvious displeasure and barely suppressed rage was obvious to all, especially with his terse "thank you" to John Edwards and his refusal to answer the question at all beyond that. So -- goal number one was achieved. But I'm still puzzled at the ultimate goal of this strategy.

In a pre-planned way Kerry AGAIN brought the Cheney daughter and her lifestyle into the debate, AGAIN in a national forum, naming her by name. Who else was named in these debates?? Was Kofi Annan mentioned? He of the billions in graft in the Oil for Fraud scandal at the tony UN?? No -- the only people mentioned by name have been Saddam Hussein, Bin Laden -- and bizarrely -- the quiet, private and unassuming yet strong daughter of the Vice-President.

Then, in a fashion that has become typical of Democrats who seem to have adopted the motto of the aristocrats of old, to wit "never apologize, never explain", the Democrats have added injury to insult by Mary Beth Cahill's pronouncement of Mary Cheney as "fair game" -- as if she were a deer in season. And Elizabeth Edwards, in perhaps the most graceless comment a mother has ever directed towards another mother, has psychoanalyzed Lynne Cheney at a distance and patronizingly accused her of feeling "shame" over her daughter's preference.

So - what's behind this? Is it as some suggest an attempt to suppress the Christian conservative vote, by reminding voters who may not know it already that (GASP!!) the Cheney's have a gay daughter? If that is the case then they completely misunderstand the nature of Christian faith, which hates the sin but loves the sinner. And they underestimate the compassion and lack of prejudice that Christians are taught to have. It is a foundation of the faith to "judge not, lest ye be judged" and "love your neighbor as yourself". Most conservatives at this point feel only compassion and outrage on behalf of the victimized Cheneys.

So it really says more about the prejudice of liberals and DEMOCRATS against Christians than about religous conservatives themselves. It shows that once again the liberals have only a caricature concept of a great swath of American thought, values and faith.

Beyond that question of sexual orientation, it is an invasion of Mary Cheney's privacy, plain and simple, to drag her into a national televised political debate. It would have been equally inappropriate and insensitive for George Bush to name the Edwards' dead teenage son as an example of the need to raise the national age for driving. Or to bring up Gore's teenage son as an example of the need for drug education among youngsters. Or if George Bush mentioned the Kerry daughter as an example of young people who find nothing wrong with public nudity. It is the most elementary courtesy and human decency to leave innocent and private family members out of political public forums. Her private life and choices have NOTHING to do with the outrage. It is plain and simple -- an invasion of her and the Cheney's privacy.

So -- what are we left with? And why the strange reluctance to simply offer an apology or a retraction, saying that no harm was meant, that he simply was trying to make the point in a personal way. That would be hard to swallow on the face of it, given the deliberate nature of the mention, but it would at least paper over the unpleasantness and everyone could move on having saved some face. That is what would happen in a normal social setting.

But these are not normal times. And the Democrats seem to have renewed and even intensified their attacks. So somehow they see this as a winner for their side. They really think they are scoring some points, as the attacks are sounding more and more coordinated, and coming from all sides. Liz Edwards, and now the media are chiming in on their side saying -- what's the matter -- are you ashamed? We were trying to be NICE!!

Is it simply that they do not want to admit that this was a major blunder? To admit that most people shrink in discomfort from this sort of unpleasantness and obvious, in-your-face insult? I am beginning to think that there is some pleasure that is being gained from this beyond just playing to some perceived political advantage. That there is simply such animus towards George Bush -- but particularly to Dick Cheney (Haliburton, Haliburton, Haliburton) -- that they are simply enjoying hurting these people publicly, and doing it in such a way that the victim can't win -- either the Cheneys say nothing -- which is more or less what Dick Cheney did during the debate with Edwards, but he made it plain that under his breath he was saying, "That was ONCE!" -- and he was putting Edwards on notice not to make it TWICE -- or -- the Cheneys complain, as they have done since Kerry's remarks, and be labeled "crybabies", or "too sensitive", or "ashamed".

I am beginning to think that in addition to playing to some perceived prejudice on the part of Christian conservatives to suppress the votes for Bush and Cheney, the democrats are also trying to cement their own base. A base which has been built, sadly, on an irrational and completely out of proportion hatred of the Bush/Cheney ticket. They are playing to the Michael Moore base. The base which caricatures not only Bush and Cheney and all Republicans as wild-eyed, reactionary, bigoted, gun-toting, gay-hating, race-baiting, warmongers bent on defiling and destroying Mother Earth, etc. etc. etc. -- but most Americans. I think this episode fundamentally shows that Democrats have once and for all, completely lost touch with the real America. And it also, in their minds I believe, cements the liberal vote in reminding their base that Republicans are hypocrites on the gay issue -- they purportedly oppose gay marriage yet have gay children that they support.

I think they have forgotten the old maxim: when in a hole, stop digging. But we shall see if this is the issue which swings voters away from Kerry. So far the few interviews with focus groups and independents that I have seen have shown that undecided voters were extremely turned off by that mention. And this issue has certainly drowned out any other gains that Kerry may have made or impressions he may have created from the debates. It is most often the last thing that remains with voters. And years later, we only remember the Dukakis moment in the tank, and his Kitty Dukakis moment on the death penalty question. That matters of tremendous historical import should ride on such seemingly inconsequential matters seems at first glance to be out of proportion. But it is often in these smallest glimpses, that an entire candidacy and the character of a candidate comes most clearly into focus.

Just a follow up to my main post above. According to Pat Caddel speaking tonight on Hannity and Colmes, this WAS a planned strategy of the Kerry campaign. And it seems that I was partially correct. It IS, according to Caddel, an appeal to the democrat base -- but not just to the Bush-hating base, as I had thought -- but an appeal to the black democrat voter who is not comfortable with the issue of gay marriage. It is an attempt to say to them -- look -- there's a gay daughter over on the Republican side too, so don't let that keep you from voting Democrat on election day.

According to Caddel, the Michael Moore wing of the party has lost complete touch with the average American who is appalled and repelled by this outrageous attempt to bring the daughter of an opponent into the debate (and he and I are in perfect agreement here). He says that the political insiders did not count on there being such a backlash against these remarks and that this has hurt Kerry in the polls.

Let's hope that's true.

Friday, October 15, 2004

veritas dixit

veritas invites comments, observations, expansions, and counter-arguments on all his posts. Your remarks will help�improve anything I may offer.

Happy Birthday to Plum

By Aussiegirl

Even in the midst of this election season it is a delight to take a time out to partake of some timeless pleasures. And one of the best, surely, are the marvelous writings of the genius of the English language and that insightful student of human nature (especially the nature of upper-class twits and formidable aunts), the comic genius himself, P. G. Wodehouse. John B. Dwyer in The American Thinker today provides us with a delightful reminder of this man's prolific and varied talent. Read on:

Happy Birthday, P.G. Wodehouse

October 15th, 2004

Wherein we hear from Bertie Wooster, Jeeves, denizens of the Drones Club, and some of the regulars at the Angler's Rest holding forth on the 123rd anniversary of the birth of The Master.�

I had recently returned to the old metrop after a spot of golf in Scotland, while Jeeves, proving once again that no living creature, including salmon, could match his brainpower, filled his creel on a regular basis elsewhere in that scenic country where inhabitants become unseemly trencherman when confronted with that beastly concoction called haggis.�

I went round that place held sacred by the Scots called S'nandrews with my old pal Bingo Little.� That is, until Bingo cast his eyeballs upon the nubile daughter of the head greens keeper.� Never saw him after that.

Ran into famed golf expert Sandy McHoots while I was there.� He fell into a reminiscent mood one afternoon and started telling me about playing golf with P.G. Wodehouse.� Told me the man loved the game with a passion, much like the blighters in his golf stories, although they tended to mix their game with the divine passion, viz. love.� Sandy recalled that Wodehouse once told him that he'd never won a match, having spent his golfing life out of bounds, but that " I get more fun out of my golf than any man I know when I am hitting my drives."�� Man after my own heart.

Back here in the old digs I've been reminded by Jeeves that we're to attend a birthday party tonight.


The man appeared like a djinn before the presence.� Sir?

Where is it we're supposed to be going for this binge?

We're to motor to Lord Emsworth's estate, Blandings Castle, to celebrate the birthday of Mr�I should say, Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse,� born in Surrey, England October 15, 1881.� He is better known as P.G. Wodehouse and his nickname is Plum.� Quite the prolific writer, sir.

You called him 'Sir' Jeeves.� Was he knighted?

Yes, sir, the year he died.

Bloody lot of good that did him.�


For rolicking more fun and information read the entire article.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Ever noticed???

veritas points out:

It isn't just Kerry's plans that are secret.

John Kerry won't release his military service records.

John Kerry won't release his military medical records.

John Kerry won't release his Senate Intelligence Committee attendance records.

Maria Teresa Thierstein Simoes-Ferreira Heinz Kerry won't release her tax records.

Kerry's Kitty Dukakis Moment

By Aussiegirl

Just a few "womanly" observations from last night.

I only watched last night's debate under duress and from a sense of dread inevitability. To make it tolerable I listened only when Bush was speaking (and he was excellent) and muted it while the twin cadavers, Schieffer and Kerry, intoned. I read the captions for Kerry's answers and Schieffer's questions.

It was hilarious to watch Kerry's robotic hand gestures. He needs to get a job as a stewardess after the election, pointing out the aft and rear exits, etc. Or maybe he was signing for the hearing impaired, I'm not sure. Sometimes, I swear he was calling off-sides and a 10 yard penalty. He needed that flag thingie to fling down on the stage.

IMHO Kerry blew the last question completely. It was his Kitty Dukakis moment as far as I see it. Asked about the strong women in each of their lives (Bob Schieffer is evidently also "blessed" with a strong wife and 2 beautiful daughters) Bush was his most natural, loving and disarming self. When asked how he reacts to the strong women that surround him, he replied with charming honesty and modesty and humor -- "I listen to them -- they tell me to stand up straight and stop scowling." -- and for the first time the audience broke into good natured laughter -- as it was the last question and such a personal one. Then he described with such obvious devotion how he met Laura at a friend's backyard barbecue in Midland, Texas -- just a simple back yard job -- no fancy "lawn or garden party" -- and how his friends had asked him to come over because there was "somebody you might like to meet". Bush replied that not only did he meet someone he "liked" but "it was love at first sight". The look on his face was a look every woman in America understood and either has experienced from her husband, or wished she saw on the face of the man in her life. Then a shot of Laura and the girls, just beaming. It was a beautiful and REAL moment, not at all forced or artificial. And a reminder to all that she was the love of his youth, and that their love had survived adversity, alcoholism and many trials.

Then when Kerry's turn came he bizarrely ignored Theresa and somehow saw fit to drag his dying mother onto the stage with him. And to tell us that on her deathbed she uttered the words "Remember John, integrity, integrity, integrity." It was ghoulish and bizarre. I was left wondering what she knew about her son that had her so worried that the last words that came to her as she left this earth were to chide and warn him over his "integrity". If he thought that would be a touching moment he was wrong. And when he finally got around to mentioning Theresa, in an obvious attempt to imitate Reagan, who always talked about how "he had married up" by choosing Nancy, Kerry said as how he had "married up" by marrying Theresa. Of course -- that was a BAD choice of words -- the WORST choice -- and the guffaws from the audience were amazing, and Kerry realizing his blunder tried to recover with a lame joke about how "he could take the jokes". It's still all about HIM. NOT A WORD ABOUT LOVE - not a word about how he fell in love with Theresa and how she has enriched (oops he couldn't say that about her, could he?) his life. And when they showed a shot of Theresa she was scowling and shooting daggers at him with her eyes. I think there was not a happy scene back at the hotel last night with a LOT of French being tossed about!

And I think that registered with women. All he succeeded in doing was reminding women that he TRADED UP -- not married up -- he traded one heiress in for a richer one. I actually felt sorry for Theresa -- what has all that money bought her?? He's not even a grateful gigolo, because given the perfect opportunity to reassure us that he fell in love with Theresa the PERSON, he underscored instead, his own opportunism and lack of due respect to the woman who keeps him in pocket money and makes his political ambitions a reality. He can't even have the decency to forget his own ego for one moment to give her the public acknowledgement and respect she deserves, if for no other reason than that he owes her at least that. When you buy a gigolo, you at least expect him to act the part of the devoted husband and lover in public.

All in all it put in stark relief the family life, and therefore the basic CHARACTER of each candidate for all the country and the world to see and judge.

And of course, Kerry's planned and scurrilous reference to Mary Cheney was despicable. And did not serve him well at all. This is obviously a planned strategy as Edwards went to great pains to bring Mary Cheney into it during the Vice-Presidential debate, with Cheney sitting right next to him.

Other than that Bush slammed Kerry on all the right things and was wonderful on education, taxes and health care. Good night. Now let's get these stupid debates behind us and get on with the vote.